Mayoral candidate Keane Duncan has today committed to making a multi-million pound investment towards delivering the long-awaited dualling of the A64.
Uniting with the region’s MPs and business leaders to launch his “Just Dual It” campaign, Mr Duncan said there may be “just weeks” left to make the case to the Government.
And he said mayoral funding could be “key to sealing the deal” as he invited the public to add their voice by pledging support at justdualit.co.uk.
His announcement came after a key meeting with roads minister Guy Opperman MP, local MPs Julian Sturdy, Kevin Hollinrake and Sir Robert Goodwill, and key business representatives at Hopgrove, near York.
Keane Duncan, York & North Yorkshire mayoral candidate, said: “After decades of setbacks and delays, we’re uniting to say the time has come to ‘Just Dual It’.
“This is a £300m project of national significance. While we can’t fund it entirely alone, it’s right that we demonstrate our local commitment.
“So I’m seizing the momentum of devolution and pledging mayoral funds towards construction costs if I’m elected as Mayor in May. This would give us a serious stake in delivery of the project.
“While our specific final contribution would be subject to negotiation, this would represent a multi-million pound investment. Hopefully it’s an offer the Government can not refuse.
“With a decision on the A64 potentially just weeks away, I’m making this clear commitment now so we don’t miss out. It could prove key to strengthening the business case and sealing the deal.
“I’m prepared to do everything in my power as Mayor to deliver this critical investment at long last.
“But with time running out, I need to demonstrate the strength of local support. That’s why I’m asking as many people as possible to sign up to the ‘Just Dual It’ campaign.”
Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, said: “Keane’s pledge gives us the very best chance of making the case to the Government and securing the dualling the A64 at long last.
“The Government must demonstrate it’s truly serious about Levelling Up our region by committing the investment required for this major infrastructure improvement.
“Dualling the A64, alongside upgrades to the A1237 York Outer Ring Road, will better connect our city and end the gridlock holding back our region’s economy. It is time to ‘Just Dual It’.”
Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk & Malton, said: “As the campaign for dualling the A64 enters a critical stage, it’s vital that as many people as possible voice their support.
“MPs stand with Keane to do everything it takes to deliver this upgrade that is so essential to our economy, businesses, visitors and local residents.”
Sir Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough & Whitby, said: “Although this section of road is 40 miles from Scarborough, this is the single most important investment needed to secure continued economic investment and growth.
“Companies like Plaxton’s and McCain rely on ‘just in time’ deliveries and getting heavy goods vehicles into the coast.
“Tourism relies on this road too and, particularly at peak summer weekends, families can be deterred from returning if the have a bad experience with congestion delays.
“If the Government could do one thing to encourage economic development on the coast, it would be this section of the A64.”
Originally expected for delivery in 2025-30, it was announced last year that the A64 and 31 other Road Investment Strategy (RIS3) schemes would be pushed back for potential delivery beyond 2030 under RIS4.
While development work is continuing, all schemes remain uncommitted. A funding announcement could be made as early as the Spring Budget in March.
The public are invited to pledge their support for dualling the A64 at justdualit.co.uk.